This article appears in the February issue of Wild Magazine.
It was just a normal, routine offseason for Wild forward Zach Parise.
The 2016-17 season was a frustrating one for Minnesota's alternate captain. A variety of illnesses -- including a couple of bouts with strep throat and a battle with the mumps -- combined with a lower-body injury early in the season limited Parise to just 69 games.
But a strong offseason program had the 33-year-old primed for a bounce back season. With no World Cup of Hockey changing his summer routine and no Winter Olympics interrupting the NHL season, Parise was looking forward to the 82-game grind of the regular season.
Suddenly, a guy who was one of the finest athletes in the world, a man at the peak of his profession, could not even sit in a chair to eat.